Making the Most of the Relationship With Your Construction Manager

Congratulations. You have decided to build your new home or major renovation. You have picked out your construction manager and you are finally ready to get started.

Building a new home or doing a major remodel is an exciting time. And the most important relationship you have during this time is with your construction manager and maybe primary contractor. Here in Panama, like most places they are usually the same firm.

If you do it right, your project will be a dream and your friendship will be a long one. But, if this relationship is strained, the venture could turn into a nightmare of never ending expense and bad feelings.

Here are 5 steps to keep a good relationship with your construction manager.

Set a Proper Budget

Your budget should be determined before anything else is done. This includes getting your initial quotes and estimates. Without knowing a budget, it is almost impossible to come up with a proper estimate. It’s possible to do a $5,000 dollar kitchen or a $50,000 dollar kitchen. Without a budget, it is impossible to proceed.

Also, when you are doing your budget, you need to allow for changes and over runs. 80% is a good benchmark. So, if you have $200,000 to allocate to your new home, your budget should be around $160,000. If you have it and don’t need it, you can use your extra 20% for furniture. But, if you need it and don’t have it, everyone’s schedule needs to go on hold while you find the extra funds.

Pre-Plan

The most important stage of any construction project is the pre-planning you do with your construction managers. A good plan will eliminate or reduce changes and problems along the way. But, not having a good plan is sure to result in cost overruns and bad feelings.

You should know everything in advance. The makes and model numbers of supplies, how they will be installed, everything. This planning will help keep everything on schedule and as expected.

Keep to the Plan

Wherever possible, try and keep with the plan. When you change anything along the way, schedules are interrupted and it is going to cost you. Probably more than the upgrade or change would have cost originally. So, if you change from a $20 door knob to a $40 door knob, it may end up costing you more than the $20 dollar difference, due to extra trips to the store, schedule changes etc.

This is a small example, but any change at this point causes a disruption, and any disruption takes time from the schedule. If possible, nothing should be changed at this point. If a change needs to be done, use a proper change order. This way all parties know exactly what is expected and what it is going to cost. It will save misunderstandings later.

Follow Up During the Process

Sometimes, no matter how well things are planned, there are misunderstandings during the construction process. Maybe you thought one thing, while the construction manager’s understanding is something different.

Regular follow ups through the construction process will ensure costs are kept to a minimum. If you wait until the project is done before telling the contractor that you wanted a different finish, it might mean ripping out some other finishing work later. And disrupting your entire schedule.

Do a Walk Through / Punch List

Finally, after the construction is completed, do a walk through with your construction manager. Waiting for 3 months to inform the construction manager that there is a problem isn’t going to help you resolve the issue. Get everything out in the open right away, so it can be dealt with.

Working with a construction manager is a process starting before your construction begins, and ending after it is complete. If things go well, the relationship could last for years.

The most important parts of the entire relationship are in the preplanning stages. So make sure that ample groundwork is done.

Make your next construction project a dream come true, and make your construction manager your best friend.

Top 10 Reasons to Schedule House Cleaning Services

Many residents think that keeping a clean home is infeasible, especially when you work long hours and don’t have the time to clean it by yourself. Thus, it’s often a good idea to hire a house cleaning service to take care of your home for you. To determine if a maid service is a good choice for you, it can be helpful to know some of the main advantages when hiring one.

1) It’s perfect for a busy schedule. Hiring a house cleaner is the best solution when you have a busy schedule. Such a service will clean your home and you will not have to worry about it.

2) You have time to focus on other things. Booking a maid service will allow you to focus on other more important aspects of your life, instead of worrying about cleaning your home.3) You will always come home to a clean place. This can make your life much enjoyable and your house more relaxing and aesthetically pleasing.

4) Having a contract ensures regular cleaning. When you hire a house cleaning service and sign a contract, you get a regular home cleaning, usually at a specific rate. This will guarantee you will always come to a clean place.

5) Professional cleaning services are easy to find. Finding a home cleaner is quite easy as there are many cleaning contractors in the area (especially in large metro areas). Look online, read other customer’s reviews and choose the most appropriate for your cleaning needs.

6) Licensed cleaning contractors are reliable. One advantage of hiring a home cleaning professional is that the majority are extremely reliable and you can count on them to provide you with the highest quality of cleaning services.

7) Trust their experience. A pro house cleaner can offer a great deal of experience in the cleaning industry, which results in amazing services.

8) Trust their expertise. Most cleaning pros are experts at what they do, because of the extensive training on how to use cleaning equipment and solutions properly.9) They use quality cleaning equipment. Some of the professional-grade cleaning tools can’t be rented by you as a homeowner. Thus, you won’t be able to clean your home deeply and effectively.

10) You will get a custom cleaning plan. A house cleaning service can work directly with you to develop a custom cleaning plan that suits your specific needs and requirements. Such a plan can involve determining how deeply you want to house cleaner to work in your home, as well as which areas you want them to give the most attention.

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects That Make Your Home Feel Like New

Would you like to live in a new home? A home improvement project can be an easy way to change the look and increase the appeal of your home, make it feel like new. Below are five very easy ways to improve your home and increase the value at the same time. Home improvement projects do not have to take a lot of time or money to make your home look better.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Kitchen

Paint the kitchen cabinets. An easy kitchen home improvement project that most anyone can do is to repaint the cabinets. A dull, lifeless kitchen can easily be brought back to life by a new coat of paint on the cabinets. Select a bright, crisp color and a new coat of paint on the cabinets will change the look of the kitchen. It will look clean and fresh. With the sharpness of the new paint, the kitchen will appear and feel larger. A light, bright color seems to expand the feel of the room.

For a finishing touch that will complete the cabinets in your kitchen home improvement project change the hardware. Cabinet hardware can become dull and worn over a long life of use. Changing the knobs and handles will drastically change the appearance of the cabinets and give the kitchen a newly remodeled look.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Flooring

Replace carpet flooring. Old, worn carpet is thin, hard and makes a home look dirty and dungy. Replace old carpet with new in your next home improvement project. New carpet adds a soft touch. It looks good and insulates to some extent. If you have a limited budget, purchase good carpet padding and an inexpensive carpet. The result will be a thick expensive feel.

Easy Home Improvement Project – New Faucets

Change the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Old faucets dull and wear with age. Replacing faucets will give the sink a fresh new appearance.

This home improvement project is much simpler that it may sound. You can hire a plumber to install new faucets or you can do it yourself. Nice faucets can be purchased at your local hardware store, along with proper plumbing supplies that are quite easy to install.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Painting

Paint the exterior and the interior of your home. A fresh coat of paint is a simple home improvement project that will give your home a new clean look. The exterior appeal will look inviting to visitors and the fresh new interior will make them glad they entered. This is a relatively inexpensive, simple home improvement project that you can hire done or you can do it yourself.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Driveway

A very easy home improvement project that will add a new look to the exterior of your home is to pressure wash the concrete driveway. Over the course of a short season, a concrete driveway will get dirty and grungy. Simply rent a pressure washer and wash the driveway. The process is not hard but it is a slow process. The result will be worth the time. The concrete will look like it has been recently placed.

So there it is – five easy home improvement projects that will make your home feel like new. If you want to improve the appeal and add value to your home, try one or more of these home improvement projects.